Fifty Years Ago Today

The war turned cold.

Berlin marks 50th Wall anniversary with minute of silence

Berlin on Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall started to go up with a memorial service and a minute of silence in memory of those who died trying to flee to the West.

German President Christian Wulff, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in the East, and Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit attended a nationally televised commemoration followed by a ecumenical church service at a chapel built where the Wall stood for 28 years.

See also:
Germany marks 50 years since building of the Berlin Wall
Berlin marks 50th Wall anniversary with minute of silence
Berlin Marks 50th Anniversary of ‘The Wall’
Berlin Wall marks 50th anniversary
Berlin Marks 50th Anniversary of ‘The Wall’
Germany marks 50th anniversary of Berlin Wall
Minute of silence for Berlin Wall anniversary
50th anniversary of Berlin Wall remembered in Germany – pictures
Berlin Wall ‘history, but not forgotten’
‘I’m glad I was wrong about the Berlin Wall’
Berlin Wall, 1961-1989, R.I.P
Berlin Wall at 50: Five Iconic Moments
German left provokes row on Berlin Wall anniversary

The Berlin Wall was a human tragedy for almost thirty years, separating families and dividing a country. What were the Communists thinking?

/normally walls are built to keep people out, when you build a wall to keep people in, it’s called a prison

Not Good For A Secular Turkey

If you thought Turkey was already an unreliable NATO ally, this won’t help.

Turkey: Military chiefs resign en masse

The chief of the Turkish armed forces, Isik Kosaner, has resigned along with the army, navy and air force heads.

They were furious about the arrest of senior officers, accused of plotting, shortly before a round of military promotions.

A series of meetings between General Kosaner and PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to resolve their differences.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul moved quickly to appoint General Necdet Ozel as the new army chief.

Gen Ozel is widely expected to be swiftly elevated to chief of the general staff in place of Gen Kosaner. Tradition dictates that only the head of the army can take over the top job.

There has been a history of tension between the secularist military and the governing AK party, with the two sides engaged in a war of words for the past two years over allegations that parts of the military had been plotting a coup.

See also:
In Turkey, top military figures apparently resign en masse
Turkey’s military has at last stood aside
Turkey’s top generals resign in apparent rift with Erdogan government
Turkey’s military chiefs of staff resign
Turkish military’s chiefs of staff step down
Turkey’s top military leaders resign in protest of staff arrestsTurkey’s resignations, a sign of military decline
Turkey’s military chiefs quit ahead of key meeting
How Turkey’s military upheaval will affect NATO
Turkey’s reset
Analysis: Turkish government strengthens control on military
Government prepares for major overhaul of Turkish military
A Prime Minister’s Push Reshapes Turkish Politics

Traditionally, in Turkey, the military has served as check on Islamist forces and a key to maintaining a secular government.

/obviously, this development represents a substantial consolidation of power in the hands of Erdogan’s Islamist AK party and a big blow to the future of secularism in Turkey

Obama Plays Hide The Terrorist

Congress specifically prohibited Obama and Holder from moving terrorists from Guantanamo to U.S. soil, so the clown pair thumbed their big red bulb noses at Congress and did an end around, skipped Gitmo, and just flew the terrorist directly to New York, so they can tie up Manhattan traffic and waste millions of taxpayer dollars for extra security on a shaky, at best, pet project civilian trial.

Obama faces criticism from all sides for terrorism suspect’s offshore interrogation, civilian trial

After holding a Somali terrorism suspect for two months on a U.S. warship, the Obama administration secretly flew him to New York for trial in a civilian court, leaving both rights groups and Congress infuriated.

The clandestine imprisonment at sea echoed Bush-era – and widely condemned – efforts to deny detainees constitutional protections while interrogating them offshore. Meanwhile, opting to surreptitiously bring the Somali to a U.S. federal court not far from where New York’s twin towers once stood gives the President a chance to circumvent Congress, which has thwarted efforts to put high-profile al-Qaeda suspects on trial in civilian courts.

Ahmed Warsame, said to be in his mid-20s, is hardly a major figure. He is described as a go-between for Somalia’s militant Al-Shabab group and the shadowy al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, located mainly in Yemen.

According to U.S. officials, he willingly operated with interrogators on board a U.S. warship. Once they were finished with him, after two months, a “clean” team from the FBI read him his rights to keep silent and have a lawyer, but the officials said he waived those rights and kept talking.

See also:
Obama under GOP fire for bringing terror suspect to U.S.
New Terror War Tactic? Alleged Al Qaeda-Linked Operative Secretly Held 2 Months on US Navy Vessel
McConnell Blasts Administration for Handling of Somali Terrorism Suspect
Republican Lawmakers Angry Over Handling of Somali Terrorism Suspect
Rights of Somali suspect may pose issue: U.S. judge
Somali Is Charged With Aiding Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula
First secret terror detainee under Obama was held for two months
Terrorism Case Reignites National Security Debate
Somali Terror Suspect Met With Awlaki in Yemen Before Capture, Official Says
Drift: How This Ship Became a Floating Gitmo
Ahmed Warsame and Law of War Detention

Ahmed Warsame was held for two months and interrogated without a lawyer or being read his Miranda rights and Obama and Holder thinks that’s okay because Warsame was eventually read his rights and then a “clean” FBI interrogation team was brought in for more questioning? How, exactly, is that going to work in Federal, civilian court? Warsame’s court appointed, free defense lawyers are going to have a field day at a picnic. And what about all the extra security that’ll be necessary?

/whatever angle you look at this public spectacle from, it’s going to be a circus at a zoo and you, the taxpayer, are going to pay for every last extra penny of Obama and Holder’s clown show

A Tale Of Two Memorial Days

While many Americans paid solemn tribute to our nation’s fallen military heroes and warriors . . .

. . . Obama, the President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, played golf.

Barack Obama’s decision to play golf on Memorial Day was disrespectful and hardly presidential

/we need a new President

Do You Believe In Iranian Magic?

It looks like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is on his way out as Iran’s president. You know you’re in real trouble when they start arresting your staff for witchcraft.

Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery

Close allies of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being “magicians” and invoking djinns (spirits).

Ayandeh, an Iranian news website, described one of the arrested men, Abbas Ghaffari, as “a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds”.

See also:
Ahmadinejad Staffers Accused of Sorcery
Ahmadinejad’s Advisers Jailed for Practicing Witchcraft
Close aide to Ahmadinejad arrested
Ahmadinejad supporters arrested
In Iran, do they burn witches too?
Internal strife emerges as Tehran looks westward
Trouble at the top
Ahmadinejad in the Crosshairs
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to resign as Iranian president?
Breaking: Ahmadinejad to resign

The bizarre arrests seem to have something to do with the production and distribution of the Iranian end times documentary The Coming. Is Ahmadinejad being sacked for his fervent belief that the return of the 12th Imam is near? Will his ouster be a positive development for the West’s relations with Iran? Who knows?

/although, as long as Iran’s theocracy is still in power, I doubt it

Springtime For Taliban

Here we go again.

Taliban declares ‘spring offensive’

The Taliban has announced the launch of a spring offensive against foreign troops in Afghanistan as well as Afghan security forces and government officials.

Saturday’s declaration comes a day after high-ranking US military officers predicted such a move from the group.

Dubbed the “Badar” offensive, the fresh onslaught “will target foreign forces, high-ranking officials of President Hamid Karzai’s government, members of the cabinet and lawmakers, as well as the heads of foreign and local companies working for the NATO-led coalition,” the Taliban said in a statement.

See also:
Taliban warns of spring offensive
Afghanistan: Taliban announce spring offensive
Taliban declares start to spring offensive in Afghanistan
Afghan Taliban: Surge to Begin Sunday
Taliban militants declare new offensive
Taliban announce spring offensive in Afghanistan
Taliban announce beginning of its ‘spring offensive’
NATO dismisses Taliban offensive as propaganda
Afghan Taliban declare start to spring offensive
Taliban declare start of spring offensive
Taliban announce beginning of spring offensive; NATO downplays it

Let’s hope that our troops have rules of engagement that allow them to actually engage and kill the enemy or at least be allowed to carry loaded weapons to defend themselves.

/what a hellhole, is it still even worth being there?

These Are Not The Drones You Seek

Mission creep, what mission creep? Who are you going to believe, Robert Gates and Obama or your own lying eyes? Why, exactly, are we in Libya again?

U.S. will deploy Predators in Libya

President Barack Obama has given U.S. forces the go-ahead to use armed Predator drones in Libya after forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi changed their tactics in the fighting there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Thursday.

“It’s an evolving situation. We saw an opportunity here and recommended it to the president. He took it,” Gates told reporters at a Pentagon briefing.

However, Gates said the use of the drones did not indicate that the U.S. was being sucked back into a military campaign that Obama has promised will be handled chiefly by other NATO countries and allied forces.

“This is a very limited addition on our part, but it does provide some additional capabilities to NATO,” Gates said. “I don’t think there’s mission creep at all….The primary strike role has been turned over to our allies, our friends.”

Now remember boys and girls, providing “additional capabilities to NATO” is not, I repeat, IS NOT mission creep. Um, it’s been at least a couple months now, whatever happened to “days, not weeks”?

See also:
U.S. begins using Predator drones in Libya
U.S. Launches Drone Strikes in Libya
Obama authorizes Predator drone strikes in Libya
US deploys armed drones over Libya
Obama Approves Use of Predator Drones in Libya
U.S. Sends Predators to Strike Qaddafi Troops Fighting Rebels
Libya: US sends armed drones to shield rebels
Pentagon: Robot War Over Libya Begins in 3, 2, 1 …
US begins using armed drones in Libya
U.S. introduces armed Predator drones in Libya

Of course, the U.N. resolution we’re operating under only authorizes humanitarian efforts, so I’m sure these armed Predator drones will only be used to deliver food to civilians and stuff like that.

The Council stressed the need to intensify efforts to find a solution to the crisis that responded to the legitimate demands of the Libyan people, noting actions being taken on the diplomatic front in that regard. It further demanded that Libyan authorities comply with their obligations under international law and take all measures to protect civilians and meet their basic needs and to ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance.

In that connection, the Council specified that the flight ban would not apply to flights that had as their sole purpose humanitarian aid, the evacuation of foreign nationals, enforcing the ban or other purposes “deemed necessary for the benefit of the Libyan people”.

I don’t know, what supposedly started out as a limited “kinetic military action” sure as hell seems to have blossomed over the weeks into the United States and NATO openly taking sides in a Libyan civil war.

/how is that not mission creep?